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Georgia Christian college staff told to reject homosexuality or get fired

Saturday, October 29, 2011
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ROME, Ga. — Shorter University, a Christian liberal arts college in Rome, Ga., has announced a policy which will require its more than 200 employees to sign a “Personal Lifestyle Statement” rejecting homosexuality.

The university’s president, Don Dowless, made it clear any staffer not signing the agreement faces immediate termination. The policy also requires staffers to reject premarital sex and adultery, prohibits consumption of alcoholic beverages in front of students, or attending university events within six hours of consuming alcohol.

“I think that anybody who adheres to a lifestyle that is outside of what the biblical mandate is and of what the board has passed, including the president, would not be allowed to continue here,” Dowless said, in an interview with a local television station.

New employees will have to sign the agreement, and existing employees will have to sign it to renew their contracts.

“Failure to adhere to this statement may result in disciplinary action up to and including immediate termination,” the statement says.

A gay employee who works at Shorter told The GA Voice, “We now will live in fear that someone who doesn’t like us personally or someone who has had a bad day will report that we’ve been drinking or that we are suspected of being gay.”

The Personal Lifestyle Statement was adopted by the Board of Trustees on Oct. 21 and presented to employees on Oct. 24. It was one of several policies approved by the Board — others include a “Policy for Christian Education,” “Biblical Principles on the Integration of Faith and Learning” and a “Statement of Faith.”

A Shorter student who asked not to be identified said “that the university is judging others, contrary to what the Bible teaches.” Students, however, are not required to sign the policy.

”Anything outside that is not biblical, we do not accept,” Dowless told the television station. “We have a right to hire only Christians.”

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